4 March 2014, By Walton Pantland
A social network isn’t a neutral space. It is designed for a purpose, and that purpose is ideological.
Is your social network designed by techies, out of a pure love for seeing what is technologically possible? Is it designed to bring people together, to help them organise? Or is it designed to sell them things, and to collect data? Or, more insidiously, is it designed to give the illusion of bringing people together, so that it can sell things and collect data?
If it’s collecting data, what is the date being used for? Sociological research? Control and surveillance? Marketing? Or is it to help people organise politically?
All technology is political, and it’s useful to think through the politics if we are going to use it. This will help us to stay in control, and not be manipulated by subtle design elements.
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